Sunday, July 19, 2015
Saving Our Community Means Work, Work
Judy with new no coal ash sign in downtown Moncure on July 16.
THE OMENS ARRIVE XVIII. July 12, 2015
It’s all work, work. The curse of Adam. But if he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get anything, even love. He just tumbles about in hell and bashes himself and burns himself and stabs himself. The fallen man–nobody’s going to look after him. The poor bastard is free–a free and responsible citizen...” Gulley Jimson in The Horse’s Mouth by Joyce Cary
When the soil is rich and friable,
seeds thrive, but so do weeds.
Crawling down the carrot row
between hardy grass stalks, looking
for those lacy fronds, I dig around
their orange tops, pull loose fat
carrots. My best carrot crop ever
if I can find it. Everywhere this
hot whimsical summer the weeds
have flourished. I work daily to save
the food I need for winter. There
were raspberries. There will be figs.
I dig out rampant grass and weed
tangles to make space for okra and
bean seeds. First heat and drought,
then too much rain. There will be
tomatoes, though they fell over
in their wire cages. The coal ash
war goes on. Farmers fight wars,
too, to keep their plants alive, outwit
voles and beetles, provide water,
protect ripening fruit. In the beginning
I never expected everything I planted
to bear fruit or come into flower.
At least in a garden you know what to
do even if you can’t do it fast enough.
Aging slows me, makes me reluctant
to encounter too hot sun. True, I can’t
do as much as I did sixteen years ago,
but with work, thought, and care I
can help my vegetables, fruits, and
flowers come into their own. Fighting
corporate power and arrogance is
subtler work, takes ingenuity, humility,
and confidence in our human power
to defend and protect what we
cherish, who we are, our lives and
homes, farms, and children.
I must keep my vision clear,
do what my heart says do.
These trees were killed almost entirely during our last two severe winters. This is how they looked in August, 2011. Other figs, though, are producing this year. What a gift is a fig.